Keyword: Astronomy

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Astronomers from the University of Turku to scan the sky in search of optical signals from gravitational waves


The department of Physics and Astronomy at the University of Turku is a partner in the international Gravitational-wave Optical Transient Observer (GOTO) project, which will play a key role in shepherding in a new era of gravitational wave science. The GOTO observatory is made up of two identical telescope arrays on opposite sides of the planet that will track down sources of gravitational waves resulting from violent cosmic events that create ripples in the fabric of space-time itself.

Observations of the centres of galaxies reveal the hidden destruction of stars by lurking supermassive black holes (Dissertation defence Nov 4 2021, MSc Thomas Reynolds, astronomy)

We know that in the centres of the majority of galaxies lies a supermassive black hole. New observations of certain galaxies reveal that these black holes may be consuming stars at a higher rate than previously known. The energy produced by the destruction of the star can be revealed in the infrared, as heat from cosmic dust warmed by the explosion.

Polarization of Light Helps to Better Understand Emission Sources in the Vicinity of Stellar-Mass Black Holes (Dissertation Defence, MSc Ilia Kosenkov, 8 Oct 2021, Astronomy)

Stellar-mass black holes that are part of binary systems sometimes show variable polarization of optical emission. The degree, angle and variability pattern of polarization is characteristic of the physical processes occurring in the vicinity of a black hole. By studying black holes astronomers learn how matter and energy behave under extreme conditions. 

Researchers Managed to Model Violent Flares in Centre of Black Hole System


An international team of astronomers has used the optical HiPERCAM camera of the Gran Telescopio Canarias in La Palma and NASA’s NICER X-ray observatory aboard the International Space Station to create a video of a growing black hole system at an unprecedented level of detail. The study has increased scientific understanding on the immediate surroundings of black holes.